June 18 2011 05:29PM
Signing a restricted free agent is always a contentious issue in the NHL. While unrestricted free agents pass from team to team with regularity, the younger players with RFA contracts are rarely poached, and when they are the deals are almost always matched (no matter how outlandish, as Buffalo proved by retaining Thomas Vanek despite a gross overpay by Kevin Lowe that would have forked over an insanely large wad of cash to Vanek and four first round picks to the Sabres). Even when the deals aren’t matched, as the Oilers’ offer sheet to Dustin Penner wasn’t (thanks to Anaheim’s salary cap bind), the acrimony between executives can be long-lasting.
The upshot of all this is that RFA offers have become a rather rare, despite the fact that they are a legitimate option under the current collective bargaining agreement. Should the Oilers, as they have in the past, look to buck the trend this summer and add a restricted free agent?
June 18 2011 09:03AM
Stu (Magnificent Bastard) MacGregor may have done it again.
June 17 2011 11:33PM
If the Edmonton Oilers opt to trade down from first overall, what kind of return might they get? If they want to trade up from 19th overall into the top eight, what might it cost them?
June 17 2011 01:04PM
It is a time-honoured tradition for the people following NHL teams to compare their squads against the Stanley Cup champion each and every summer. While parts of the tradition are unhelpful – stylistic comparisons, for example, are generally useless because the Red Wings don’t need to play like the Ducks to win and vice versa – it’s an interesting measuring stick in a lot of ways.
With the Edmonton Oilers finishing their second straight year at the bottom of the league, such an exercise might be regarded as needless fault-finding, but I don’t see it that way. The ultimate goal of any rebuilding team is a championship win, and it can be useful to compare just to see which areas the team needs to work on, and which areas can be regarded as relative strengths.
June 17 2011 11:45AM
In a week Steve Tambellini will walk up to the microphone and announce Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as the first overall pick in the 2011 draft. Oiler fans will rejoice with the notion they finally have a true number one centre on their team, and you'll wait patiently for him to showcase his talents in the near future. Nugent-Hopkins combined with Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle and Magnus Paajarvi will have many of you believing the Oil is finally on the road to credibility.
You are probably right, however, in the past four years Stu MacGregor and his scouts have deservingly earned your praise, but after Friday, it will be up to Steve Tambellini to build this team into a contender.